Bob Odenkirk, the actor best known as the criminally devious lawyer in Better Call Saul is trading his leisure suits for guns and ammo in the action flick Nobody. But before we delve into his latest venture, a rapid-fire round:
- Favorite emoji?: Thumbs-up.
- Advice to your younger self?: Calm down.
- Favorite joke?: How many strings does a banjo have? A: Five too many.
- Sexiest actress ever? Ruth Gordon, just to fuck you up.
- Is Walter dead? I think so.
Men’s Journal: How’d this movie with the John Wick guys come about?
Bob Odenkirk: Well, I had the idea of a movie about a family man who’s hidden his true self. And then there’s these break-ins and he doesn’t know what to do with his rage. And I imagine that if this guy had done some military-style actions in his past then it would be even harder to swallow his anger and desire for vengeance. Derek Kolstad, who wrote the John Wick movies, heard my pitch and said, “I get it. I want to write that guy.”
That’s a big departure from Saul.
To be honest, it’s a personal movie. My family experienced two break-ins and one was particularly traumatic. I think I did the right thing—tried to keep things from escalating. You have a sense of, “If I’m supposed to help my family and society by sitting quietly on my hands, what the hell? What am I supposed to do?” Probably not pull out a gun and start shooting, but in a movie…
Do you own a firearm?
I do not, but I’d consider it for sure. After the experience of this movie, yeah, I mean they’re machines for killing, so you should get pretty good at it before taking one home.
Learn any emergency situational training while preparing for the film?
Yes, if you have any option to leave, you leave. That’s number one, always. I also learned a lot about working out from Daniel Bernhardt, one of the best stunt guys in Hollywood—great actor, too. I wanted to do my own fighting scenes, so I trained to be able do it without getting hurt.
What’s your daily routine like now?
I usually do a half-hour of cardio, then I’ll make a circuit and do maybe 100 squats, 100 pushups, 100 situps. There are great videos on YouTube that show different core exercises that I like to mix in. Then stretching, stretching, stretching.
You’ve had a varied career—must be fun.
Some people don’t know me from any of the comedy that I’ve done. And then some people only know me from that, and then some people only know me from How I Met Your Mother, which is weird. That show has some diehard fans.
What was it like being a writer on Saturday Night Live?
I didn’t have a great time at SNL. I was very young when I got hired and there’s constant stress and pressure there. It’s especially hard if you’re young. And there was a certain amount of messing with your head that goes on that doesn’t seem meaningful or necessary.
The best was I wrote the motivational speaker skit for Chris Farley. The worst? When Steven Seagal hosted.
What’s next after Nobody?
I’m working on many different projects right now. My life is writing and working out, and I love it.